Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has insisted that the coronavirus originated from a Chinese lab, reviving a “conspiracy theory” that was first pushed by his former boss, Donald Trump.
“There’s a pile of evidence a hundred feet high,” Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News on Sunday,” without offering any evidence to substantiate his claim.
Asked by Fox host Chris Wallace whether he believed Covid-19 had leaked from a Chinese lab, Pompeo said bluntly, "I do."
The so-called "lab leak" theory was first promoted by former US president Trump and others. Pompeo has long been on board with the theory. During his tenure the Secretary of State, he headed a task force investigating the origins of Covid-19.
China has slammed the US for “spreading conspiracy theories and disinformation”.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian has described the US-led revival of the theory as "disrespectful" to the World Health Organization (WHO) investigation, insisting that the move amounted to "undermining of global solidarity to fight the virus."
Calling on Washington to open its own virology facilities to scrutiny, the Chinese official emphasized, "If the US really wants full transparency then it should, like China did, invite WHO experts to visit the US and investigate."
In March, the WHO called the US claim "extremely unlikely" in its report on the origin of the virus. But the conspiracy theory that the coronavirus emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology was again highlighted by US authorities and media outlets in an apparent bid to wage yet another probe into the origins of the deadly virus following the WHO mission to the Chinese city.
US President Joe Biden has ordered the American intelligence community to “redouble” its efforts to uncover the pandemic’s origin.
On Sunday, Biden and other members of the G-7 economic group meeting in England released a joint communique, vowing to press for answers on China’s possible role in the coronavirus pandemic.
They called for a “timely, transparent, expert-led" study conducted in China on the origin of the virus.